NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes hospitality venues and businesses should be allowed to refuse entry to people who are not vaccinated against coronavirus.
- Ms Berejiklian wants incentives in place to encourage people to get the COVID jab
- Allowing businesses and venues refusal to those without the vaccine will be discussed
- NSW confirmed no new local infections this morning
The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are due to be rolled out in Australia in mid-to-late February, and Ms Berejiklian said there should be incentives in place to encourage people to get the jab.
“I don’t ever like to force anybody to do anything,” she told Nine Radio this morning.
“But we’d like there to be an incentive system where people are encouraged to have it because it means they can do all these things which they may otherwise not have been able to do.”
There were no new locally acquired COVID-19 infections in NSW in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.
Eight cases were recorded in overseas travellers.
Whole genome sequencing suggests the seven cases reported over the weekend are linked to the Berala cluster, NSW Health said.
“Investigations and contact tracing are underway to establish the route of acquisition,” Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty said.
“While an epidemiological link has not yet been made, there is the possibility that others in the community may have the virus.”
Workplaces will have a say
Ms Berejiklian said discussions would be taking place within her own Government and between the state and federal governments to determine how people could be “incentivised” to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Premier said she expected those discussions to take place over the next few weeks.
“But already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t travel overseas,” she said.
“We will also consider whether we allow venues to [do that] — and venues do that already, people make up their own rules if they run a business or have a workplace about what they feel is COVID-safe.
“Whilst it’s the Federal Government’s responsibility in terms of the vaccine and the rollout, all workplaces and state governments will have a say in encouraging people to take it.”
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently assessing several vaccine candidates, including the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines for approval.
Ms Berejiklian said Australia had some of the strictest regulations in the world to approve new vaccines, and said any vaccine approved by the TGA would be safe.
“Please know that nothing would get approved unless it was safe,” she said.
“I want people to start thinking about the vaccine, how they would feel about it if they were offered it and I would encourage everyone to take up that offer.
“The more people that are vaccinated, the greater likelihood that we can have a return to normality as we know it.”
A total of 8,773 tests were completed in the reporting period, down from 12,764 on the previous day.
Ms Berejiklian again urged more people to get tested.
“Given where we are in the pandemic we really need to get those testing numbers up so that we can feel confident in moving forward and easing some of those restrictions.”
Dr McAnulty said the drop in daily testing numbers was “an increasing concern”.
“NSW Health renews its calls for people to get tested if they are experiencing even the mildest of symptoms,” he said.
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